Birdline Western Australia Weekly Update

Subject: Birdline Western Australia Weekly Update
Date: 4 Jul 2011 01:30:52 +1000

Birdline Western Australia

Published sightings for the week ending 3 Jul 2011.

Sat 2 Jul Possible Little Bittern Mangles Bay, Rockingham Beach, WA, Western Australia
Total of 3 birds seen at Mangles bay on low tide, in the shallows - fishing, post squally weather (in front of the Yacht club); 2 were together and the third a short distance away. Would like it if someone else could confirm. It was too dark to see clearly (colour) or photograph but Nankeen Night Heron is a lot larger, which leads me to think they were Litte Bittern. Looking sideways they had a clear light band from the neck down (more like Night Heron).[Editorial note: Whilst these birds are most likely Nankeen Night Heron based on the habitat and observations, it would be worthwhile keeping a look-out for Little Bittern in the area. BW].
Snez Plunkett

Tue 28 Jun Siberian Thrush Esperance , Western Australia
From photographs of a bird found dead on the Esperance (WA) tug on 20 June 2011, we may finally have an Australian record of the long overdue SIBERIAN THRUSH! The specimen looks to be a bit damaged but fairly fresh, not decomposed. So it would have been alive quite close to that very southern Australian port. So one possible concern is the provenance of the specimen. The other, I hope a minor problem is the ID. Most visible characters point to that species but there are some inconsistencies. Most significant is that in addition to the two typical striking Zoothera white underwing bars there is a third of which I can find no mention! The tips of the underside of the secondaries are also white forming another white band! Moreover the white supercilium appears to extend right to the bill. This perhaps could be a feature of a first year bird which would fit with pale areas on throat and belly. In some views the tail appears to be missing but in one there are feathers with large white tips that would match those of a Siberian Thrush. Whether the specimen will make it to Ron Johnstone and John Darnell at the WA Museum is not yet clear as AQIS took charge of it and may not be aware of its rarity. Watch this space.
Per Mike Carter

DARTER Mangles Bay, Rockingham Beach, Western Australia
Not sure how common these are here but I have not yet seen one in the past 5-6 weeks in this location. Single bird. Also an Eastern Reef Egret, Dark morph seen - same location. The heavy rain has just stopped.
Snez Plunkett

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